Palestinian council to go on strike

The Palestinian Legislative Council announced that it will go on a one-month strike in protest against what it calls Yasir Arafat's failure to implement its decisions.

    Legislators say Arafat has not delivered on promised reforms

    All open sessions will be suspended between 7 September and 7 October pending Arafat's approval of a series of laws passed months ago, and even years ago, but which the president had yet to sign, parliament Speaker Rawhy Fattuh told reporters.


    "The council has decided to suspend its open sessions waiting for the executive authority to approve its laws and decisions," he told reporters in Ram Allah.


    "We are concerned that no one is taking our council's decisions seriously," he said, adding that the lawmakers hoped the threat of the strike would change and improve the situation.


    Fattuh said Arafat told him by phone that he will approve about a dozen bills the PLC has already passed in three readings and were waiting for Arafat's signature before they become laws.


    Arafat informed the speaker he was waiting for one of his advisers to return to Gaza from Jordan in order for him to sign the PLC bills into laws.


    The PLC rejected two weeks ago by one vote a similar strike call after Arafat told them he intended approving laws and supporting reforms the council has called for.


    Tangible results?

    Legislators now feel that the two weeks which have elapsed and a speech by Arafat calling for reforms have not produced anything tangible.


    Palestinian Minister of Local Government Jamal Shubaki, meanwhile, issued a statement on Wednesday that elections for the local councils in the West Bank and Gaza would start 9 December.


    The elections would be held over four different stages in order to overcome obstacles created by the Israeli reoccupation of the West Bank since July 2002, he said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.